James' "Comfort Pasta"
I love this pasta on a cold, foggy San Francisco night. It’s easy to make and is extremely comforting and satisfying. You can pair it with any good quality, dry pasta (also know as pastasciutto) or make your own fresh parpadelle or ravioli.
Ingredients (serves 6-8):
-1 pound of best quality dried Rigatoni such as the Rustichella brand
-1 28 ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
-4 cloves of garlic, coarsely sliced
-1 cup of heavy cream
-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
-1-2 tablespoons of hot red pepper flakes
-Salt, to taste
-Parmigiano Reggiano for grating
Pour the canned tomatoes into a bowl and gently crush with your hands. In a large saute pan heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and sweat for 30 seconds or until translucent but not brown. Turn off the heat and wait 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes into the pan and stir through. Turn the heat back on high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and stir through. Cook for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the mixture has a nice sheen to it and has come together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with 3-4 tablespoons of Kosher salt. Drop your pasta and stir. Be sure to drain your pasta at least 1-2 minutes prior to being al dente as the pasta will continue to cook. While the pasta is boiling bring your sauce back to a boil. Add the chili flakes and stir through. Pour in the heavy cream and stir through. Cook over medium high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes or until the mixture comes to together and is reduced.
Drain the pasta well and add into the pan with the sauce. Stir/toss over high heat for 1 minute. Serve on warmed plates and grate with Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately.
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James is a food writer and Bay Area chef who owns and runs a private dinner party and cooking class business specializing in regional Italian and Spanish cuisine. See CookWithJames.com